Organic Lingua Bulletin

A New Bi Monthly Newsletter from the Organic Lingua Project

The new Organic.Edunet Web portal is up! Visit, join and enjoy!

The new Organic Lingua Web Portal has now launched. It can be accessed via this site,

The portal has over eleven repositories, eleven thousand resources, and over five thousand six hundred registered users. The user interface is available in seventeen languages with resources available in twelve languages.

The Organic. Edunet portal provides information access to a wealth of topics including green topics, organic agriculture, Agroecology and educational resources.

Global network on organic science announced at Rio+20

Recently this June it was revealed that an emerging global network was be announced at Rio+20 to address organic science and farming practices. Rio+20 is a much celebrated global UN conference focused on sustainable development, which already commenced on the 20th of June and ended on the 22nd of June 2013. This network has materialised from the ongoing battles between organic agriculture researchers and relevent decision makers. Researchers have claimed that there is an apparent lack of support for funding from mainstream funders to promote the development of research centres in developing nations. The Global Organic Research Network (IGORN) created by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements will showcase the best practices of organic farming, provide insightful advice and consult stakeholders attending the conference, in the hope that they will attract suitable funders for this sector which is experiencing a remarkable transfiguration in scientific development. This move is a result of the enforcement failures of The Organic Research Centres Alliance (ORCA) initiated in 200, which was formed to establish a farming centre coordinated by the Consortium of International Agriculture Research Centres (CGIAR). The project's website had been funded by The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), yet did not make any significant progress. Contrastingly, what the new network is hoping to address is soil health, holistic approaches to agriculture and the long term visible challenges of food security. The expandable elasticity of consumer demand on the world market has dwindled the world's supply of staple produce already highly sensitive to sudden climatic changes, exhausted little available land and placed many farmers in developing regions into a perpetual state of poverty. The rhetoric behind the network is to ensure food security is upheld, that production of crops is resourceful and economical and that farmers working in regions exposed to environmental risk have their welfare protected. A strategy of environmental stewarship is thus imposed, the idea that the network will ethically protect the interest of the human population and the ecosystems at large. The failed ORCA project focused primarily on industrial and conventional agriculture. However, it is clear that there must be a scientific and educational disruption in agricultural practices, which will offer an innovative and smarter approach to farming.

Many questions have circulated asking whether the intense focus on promoting organic farming will in fact commit farmers to poverty, by pushing them to atain higher organic standards. The topography of land in certain locations is harsh and unwelcome to soft interventions in natural farming methods. The use of inorganic fertilisers is sometimes necesary on tough terrains. However, it is clear that research into organic agriculture is vital to the sustainability of our planet.

The global network is of importance to Organic Lingua as it focuses on promoting research into organic farming developments and addresses the challenges of food insecurity, climate change and poverty in the developing world.

For more information please see here

Green Ideas 2013

The annual Green Ideas workshop and conference was held in Crete, Greece, from the 28th to the 30th of June 2013. The event was hosted by The Natural History Museum of Crete and organised by Agro-Know Technologies. agINFRA was the main supporter of the Green Ideas event, together with Natural Europe and Herbal Mednet projects. The main aim of the series of interactive and engaging workshops was to explore ways in which green innovation may be empowered by education and technology. Over two and a half days, international and national participants with an interest in green knowledge and environmental protection from the agricultural, biodiversity and rural education fields came together to discuss, share and apply best practices. Business plans for green entrepreneurs were proposed at the workshops. Major questions that arose from the event including whether medicinal plants are a sustainable business venture and how to promote education via an inquiry based system of learning. World renowned participants got involved in ‘what if’ scenarios, and mapped and brainstormed models and cultivated ideas. Certain topics within farming such as creating a good harvest and the planting of crop seeds, and how we can improve the productivity of the farmer and his or her crop yield through the use of Open Data under a modern innovative method of precision farming were also discussed. Hydro-biological data sets for environmental protection and the exchange of accessible information were analysed to see how it can be used in a meaningful and environmentally friendly way.

Participants who registered to the event were able to get a free pass to the Blue Hackathon organised from the 1st to the 2nd of July in Heraklion Greece, which will also focus on the Open Data and environmental innovation.

This event is of importance to agINFRA , which seeks to create an infrastructure for relevant actors and the general public to access large amounts of raw data within databases, and then exchange and share information in order to improve or innovate the environment and agricultural sector. Green Ideas encouraged participants to explore the data set infrastructures available on marine biology, in the hope of protecting the environment exposed to risk.

For more information please see here.

Blue Hackathon 2013

Coming soon in July is the Blue Hackathon 2013, which will take place from the 1st to the 2nd of July in Heraklion Crete. The event is organised by Agro-Know Technologies. agINFRA will again be one of the main supporters of the Hackathon, together with Vibrant - Virtual Biodiversity and iMarine - the data e-infrastructure initiative for fisheries management and conservation of marine living resources. The Hackathon will be hosted by The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR). The series of interactive and thought provoking workshops will invite IT developers and hackers, to use their skills and experience to create new ideas for a sustainable and healthier future. The applied ideas that participants will suggest will focus on the multiple benefits of Open Data and APIs that consist of environmental, hydrobiological and oceanographical information. The main crux of the Hackathon is to see how open databases that are focused on marine ecology can contribute to innovations and significant improvements in the sustainability of the environment. The workshops will test out, apply, share and discuss the existing tools used for open data within the marine biological sectors, and see how it can be used in new literature and new disciplines. For this year’s event, a number of open data sets identified by Agro-Know will be worked on by programmers. Some of the data sets suggested include a mobile application that is designed to report animal sightings along ship routes such as fish, dolphins, whales and birds; through the use of GPS mapping. Programmers will investigate how applying and uploading photos by users on to the programme on the hand held device can happen. The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC), which deals with biological, chemical, physical and geophysical data with a database that contains measurements of over two thousand different variables, will be looked over by programmers at the event. Moreover, the European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED), which holds three thousand plus data sets across over six hundred data holding centres in Europe, is just another example of the countless data sets Agro-Know will be showcasing at the Hackathon.

This major event is of importance to agINFRA, as the workshops will closely analyse how open data infrastructures can be used to innovate the environment and solve its many challenges, in this particular case, the marine environment.

For more information please see here.

Organic Lingua 2nd Review Meeting

The Organic.Lingua team met on the 23rd and 24th of April 2013 in Luxembourg for the second year review of the project by the European Commission. The purpose of such reviews is twofold. Firstly, it was an opportunity for the project partners to present the up-to-date progress of their contributions to the project and outline the key plans for the final year. Secondly, the EC representatives had a chance to evaluate in detail the project’s achievements since the launch of Organic.Lingua in March 2011.

The reviewers received with positivity and interest the presentations of the team. Particular attention was drawn to the pioneering development of the agricultural ‘ontology’ which allows accurate translation of a huge range of specialist terms into a wide selection of languages. The reviewers were given a preview of the fully functioning Organic.Lingua system in action and helping to accomplish a range of research tasks linked to the Organic.Edunet portal.

The reviewers particularly praised the excellent management of the project and the successful establishment of collaborative links to other projects working in closely related domains. In particular, the ongoing partnership with Open Discovery Space, a pan-European education portal, was praised as having the potential to bring the benefits of the Organic.Lingua solution to tens of thousands of learners. This review confirmed that the Organic.Lingua team has a fruitful and productive second year and are ready to take the project into the final year with exciting developments to unveil to Europe’s agricultural research and learning communities.

Organic Lingua 5th Project Meeting

The 5th project meeting of the Organic.Lingua consortium was held between the 20th-22nd of February at the beautiful premises of the University of Alcala in Spain. The project partners discussed the latest developments of the project and provided each other with updates on the technical and user aspects of their work. Discussions focussed principally on the upcoming pilots of the solution where groups of expert users in different countries will be given hands-on access to the latest functionalities of the Organic.Edunet portal which the project has developed. As Organic.Lingua nears the end of its second year, the partners are confident that the project is in good shape to deliver meaningful change and multilingual advantages to the users of this major European portal.

About Organic Lingua

Organic.Lingua is partially funded under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme by the European Community. The aim of the project which began on the 1st of March 2011 is to demonstrate the potential of a multilingual Web portal for Sustainable Agricultural & Environmental Education for organic farming and Agroecology. Organic.Lingua will bring together on a European multilingual level content seekers (educators, students, researchers, general public), content providers (NGOs, Businesses), and information evaluators (decision makers, academic institutions, professionals). The project will develop a good practice guide providing information on application of new language technologies fostering the adoption of the tools.